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GOP presidential candidate Bill Weld suggested on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Monday that President Trump should face the death penalty for treason if he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son or face the withholding of military aid.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Weld's comments:

"[Trump] has now acknowledged that in a single phone call right after he suspended $250 million of military aid to Ukraine, he called up the president of Ukraine and pressed him 8 times to investigate Joe Biden, who the president thinks is going to be running against him."
"Talk about pressuring a foreign country to interfere with and control a U.S. election. It couldn't be clearer. And that's not just undermining democratic institutions. That is treason. It's treason, pure and simple. And the penalty for treason under the U.S. Code is death. That's the only penalty. The penalty on the Constitution is removal from office. And that might look like a pretty good alternative to the president if he can work out a plea deal."

The big picture: It's still unclear exactly what Trump told Zelensky, and the president said yesterday that "it doesn't matter" what he said.

  • Democrats across government have demanded that Trump release the transcript of the phone call to prove he has nothing to hide.
  • The incident has renewed calls for impeachment from Democrats — even more moderate members who had previously expressed reticence, like House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican who has been critical of Trump in the past, called the allegations surrounding the call as "troubling in the extreme."

The bottom line: Trump leads Weld by more than 80 percentage points in most recent polls for the GOP nomination in 2020, per Real Clear Politics.

Go deeper: Pelosi hints at impeachment over Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint

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Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

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The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

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The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

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COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

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Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.